Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where the Moon Isn't” as Want to Read:
Where the Moon Isn't
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where the Moon Isn't

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  31,269 Ratings  ·  3,481 Reviews
Winner of the 2013 Costa First Novel Award (under the title The Shock of the Fall)

While on vacation with their parents, Matthew Homes and his older brother snuck out in the middle of the night. Only Matthew came home safely. Ten years later, Matthew tells us, he has found a way to bring his brother back...

What begins as the story of a lost boy turns into a story of a brav
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where the Moon Isn't, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Brad Coleman I suppose some books aren't for everyone. I picked this up and couldn't put it down. I thought it was fantastic!
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Bryant
Another novel to prove, if proof was needed, how utterly heartless and without pity I am becoming. Sorry, Nathan Filer, I come to rain all over your parade. Well, quite a lot of it.

The blurb has these three little sentences:

There are books you can’t stop reading, which keep you up all night

(Well, I actually was reading this most of last night, but that’s because I had insomnia.)

There are books which let us into the hidden parts of life and make them vividly real.

(Referring to the world of the s
Petra Eggs
I always find it hard to write reviews about meh books. Books I love, books I hate, I have strong feelings towards them, but meh... What do you say?

The book is supposedly revelations of how it really is to be schizophrenic and what life in a mental institution is really like and the author is a mental nurse so he knows. As the book has won many awards I was expecting the writing to be better than competent. Perhaps I was expecting too much having just read the searingly brilliant Man Booker pri
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Nov 27, 2015 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Kimi

I read this for Kimi's birthday tomorrow, Nov. 29! I'm posting it now because I might be too busy tomorrow. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIMI! PUT A SMILE AS BIG AS YOUR HEART BECAUSE YOU DESERVE TO BE THE HAPPIEST ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY! <3 You can read her awesome review here.


This is an interesting read that deals with mental illness, more particularly schizophrenia as a result of a boy’s grief over the death of his older brother. It is a daring but successful endeavor on the part of the aut
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Nov 04, 2013 Kelly (and the Book Boar) rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Find all of my reviews at:

Sometimes I read books so obsessively that I end up with something like this when I’m finished:

Uploaded with

Then I sit around for a week (or two, or twelve) because I have no idea how to write the review.

It only seems fitting that someone like me (who clearly has an undiagnosed mental disorder) would flag the holy hell out of a book about a fellow with a mental disorder. It also seems fitting that I should let Matthew do
Raeleen Lemay
Jun 22, 2014 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book was beautiful. I'm tempted to flip back to the first page and read it again.
Mar 30, 2014 Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, 2015
A heartbreakingly beautiful account of trauma, grief, and mental illness. Still processing so much about this story, but it's one that will stay with me for a while. 4.5 stars
Hannah Green
It seems that, by pure coincidence, I have stumbled into a number of books regarding mental illness, however, the depiction that this book utilises is purely unique. This book is quite simply unlike anything else I have ever read, that is without doubt or question.

The use of various fonts interspersed with simple drawings complement well the inconsistent thought process which Matt's thought process follows. Moreover, the subtle references to past events, without explaining full details, created
Jun 09, 2014 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read
Such an unbelievably honest story.
Jan 29, 2014 Arlene rated it did not like it
It must be me since reviews of this book were overly positive but I honestly don't know why I took the time to finish reading this novel. I'm baffled by comments that this story could make anyone laugh and cry. It is certainly neither stunning nor a book that one would have a hard time putting down, and I would never recommend this book considering the wealth of options available to readers.

The only positive aspect of this novel is that it presents a very realistic glimpse of what mental illness
Amy (shoutame)
Such an engaging read, straight into my favourites for the year!

- This novel follows the story of a young man named Matthew. We are told of the tragic death of Matthew's brother during childhood and how he blames himself for its occurrence. As the reader we are unsure as to whether Matthew is actually guilty of the death of his brother or whether it was just a tragic accident. Nearer the end of the novel we discover the real story as to how his brother died.

- The other vital element to this nov
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
4.5 stars
Nathan Filer’s debut stunned me and left me speechless. It’s been a long time since I read something so beautifully written.

Where the Moon Isn’t is a story told by Matthew Homes, a mentally ill nineteen-year-old. It’s a metafictional novel, as Matthew constantly and intentionally exposes himself as the author and communicates openly with the readers. He provides excuses when he’s unable to explain something or offer further details. He makes constant remarks about his mental stability,
Ahh, this book was so beautiful! I can't believe I've waited so long with reading this. The story is about mental illness, obviously, but it's good to know that before diving into this book. Maybe it could trigger some people.

Reading from the perspective of a mentally ill boy, written by a registered mental health nurse, is just an interesting experience. We hear a lot about mental illness but we never really get to know what people with these problems really go through.

Matthew is such an inte
Diane S ☔
Mar 23, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
I have never read anything quite like this book before, it is a unique experience traveling along in the mindset of a mentally ill young man. I remember going to the theaters and seeing the movie "Beautiful Minds", I loved this movie, was completely blown away. That is how I felt at the end of this book. First time book for author Nathan Filer, and since he was a mental health nurse in previous years, he knew what he was writing about.

Matthew, our unreliable narrator, has a voice that is very re
I read the majority of this book within the last 24 hours. I just couldn’t stop reading and even neglected some of the stuff I should’ve been doing instead. Oops. But good books have the ability to make you forget everything around you, and The Shock of the Fall did just that.

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after t
Mar 03, 2014 Dem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dem by: Noeleen
Nathan Filer's Debut Novel The Shock of The Fall is haunting and very real insight to death and mental illness.

I was recommended this novel and was assured it was a good audio book as I struggle with audio as opposed to reading and I have to say the narrator is excellent and he totally draws you into the character of Matthew to such an extinct that you feel it is actually Matthew narrating the story.

Matt Holmes is a 19 year old schizophrenic struggling within the mental health system who decides
قطعا تو لیست بهترین کتاب هایی قرار میگیره که امسال خوندم و قراره بخونم.
داستان روایتی پراکنده از یک بیمار روانی هست. متیو همراه بردارش از خونه خارج میشه اما تنها بر میگرده. بعد از اون اتفاق همه چی برای خودش و خانواده اش تغییر می کنه.
احساس گناه ناشی از اون حادثه و شرایط زندگیش توی سال های بعد باعث میشه دچار فروپاشی روانی بشه و داستان روایتی پراکنده است از زمانی که در بیمارستان روانی بستریه و زمانی که اون حادثه اتفاق افتاده.
شخصیت متیو به قدری واقعیه که کاملا میشه باهاش همذات پنداری کرد. چون راوی
Apr 05, 2013 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nathan Filer is a registered mental health nurse as well as a performance poet and his real-life experience is evident in this, his debut novel. The story is narrated by Matthew, a nineteen year old schizophrenic who recalls the sudden, tragic death of his older brother, Simon – a death which he believes he caused.

The use of mixed formats, different fonts interspersed with occasional line drawings cleverly mirrors the ebb and flow of Matthew’s mental illness. Likewise, the narrative flits betwee
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
One of my more unique reads this one, I was wary of the hype around it, but really enjoyed reading it. I love the way the book is written, for a debut novel it's quite exceptional, it's an emotion stirring book and thought provoking too.

It's essentially the story of a young man's descent into mental illness, from childhood events to trying to live as an independent adult and on to life in a mental health care facility.

What is spectacular about this book is how immersed in our main character yo
Jun 06, 2015 Kristijan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shock of the Fall ili Where the Moon isn't (ovaj drugi naslov je svakako bolji) je priča o Metjuu, koji je sve samo ne još jedan od običnih književnih junaka.
Odmah u startu čitaoci su svesni da on nije jednostavan, da je nešto drugačije u njemu, njegovom načinu razmišljanja i da je pritisnut mnogim bolima, tugom i krivicom.
U priči koju on priča, tj. piše na kompjuteru ili pisaćoj mašini (što je pisac ostvario promenom fonta), čitaoci putuju napred-natrag kroz Metjuov život i postaju saputnic
We are selfish my illness and I. We think only of ourselves. We shape the world around us into messages, into secret whispers spoken only for us.

3.5 stars. This was upsetting, but very insightful. To describe the descent into schizophrenia in such a vivid and moving way, you must have some experience with this illness in real life. So it made perfect sense when I read that the author has been a registered mental health nurse, working in psychiatric wards, for more than a decade.

I think what I li
Joana Cotidiana
Jul 30, 2014 Joana Cotidiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opinião em vídeo (aos 7:17):
João Carlos
Jul 12, 2014 João Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2015

Curta-metragem inspirada no livro "O Choque da Queda

"Ler é um pouco como ter uma alucinação." (Pág. 92)

** Spoiler Alert**

"Devo dizer que não sou boa pessoa. Às vezes tento ser, mas nem sempre sou. Por isso, quando foi a minha vez de ficar de olhos fechados e de contar até cem... fiz batota." (Pág. 9) – assim começa “O Choque da Queda” romance estreia do escritor inglês Nathan Filer.
Matthew Holmes tem nove anos e magoou-se num joelho enquanto brincava, no
Nov 06, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Maybe it's because of my profession -- I work in marketing for a scholarly publisher -- but this book could serve as an interesting study in how book marketing works in the trade publishing world. I spent a lot of time looking at how the original British title -- The Shock of the Fall, a line repeated throughout the book -- and the original British descriptive copy became Americanized. The copy that accompanies the British edition (on GR at least, which tends to be fairly faithful to jacket copy ...more
Mijn recensie over dit boek kan je hier lezen:
Sep 16, 2015 Emmanuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*4.5 stars
The Shock of the Fall is the story of a boy desperately clinging to the memory of his brother; out of guilt, out of fear. It's such a hauntingly realistic depiction of mental illness, that it becomes difficult to continue reading, because from a certain point onward, every page breaks away a little piece of your heart.

"Spring sunshine painted pillars of white across my carpet"
Filer's writing is the backbone of the novel. Don't get me wrong, it's not the only good part of the book, but
"There was the shock of the fall and the blood on my knee and Simon had carried me. He carried me all the way to safety, all by himself, because he loved me."

This book left me speechless. It was so honest and gave a very real insight to both death and mental illness. The first thing that came to my mind when I started reading this book was that it somehow reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger. I'm not sure why.

After reading this blurb, I picked up the book immediately:
"I’ll tell
For a debut novel, The Shock of the Fall was freaking awesome. Hell, for a however many numbered novel, this book was pretty spectacular.

This book follows Matthew and adult mental illness and very real family connections. It shows how mental illness can affect everyone's lives and how the person with the illness sees themselves, their family, and life/society. It was raw and bitter and beautiful to read.

Filer did just a fantastic job at giving Matthew an original and very genuine voice. I may
Jul 13, 2013 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a rare thing to find a novel addressing the issues of mental illness handled in such a deft and compelling manner, but this is exactly what Filer has achieved in this accomplished debut novel. Drawing on Filer's own experiences of working within this field of mental health, there is an authenticity to the book that further compounds the effect and enjoyment of this, at times, heartwrenching story. Narrated by Matthew, a young adult, in the grip of schizophrenia, whose life has been hugely ...more
This is the second book I have read recently, which I am unsure if I liked it or not. There wasn't anything I disliked but equally there was nothing which made me love the book. There was supposed to be an element of suspense but sometimes it just frustrated me, We knew simon died early early but the whole book lead up to how, which wasn't that difficult to guess.
The character I empathised with most was nanny noo, what a kind and compassionate woman. I really enjoyed reading scenes which feature
Paul Nash
4 Stars

A very interesting story about losing a loved one and the grief and anguish that follows. About how a loss can affect the whole family and in this case, how that loss can mentally fuck a person's mind, body and spirit; which landed that said person, Matthew Homes (main character), in a mental health institution.

This is the debut, and only novel, by Nathan Filer. And for a debut, it was pretty damn good! And you learn a good bit on what it's like to wind up living in a mental health insti
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Where The Moon Isn't, by Nathan Filer 2 18 May 06, 2016 11:19PM  
Bloggers' Book Club: JUNE 2015: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer 22 29 Jun 28, 2015 06:27PM  
Prediction of Matthew's mental illness 3 67 Apr 28, 2015 01:58AM  
  • The View on the Way Down
  • The Universe Versus Alex Woods
  • The First Book of Calamity Leek
  • Maggot Moon
  • When Mr. Dog Bites
  • Crash and Burn
  • Reasons She Goes to the Woods
  • After the Fall
  • Perfect
  • Trouble
  • The News Where You Are
  • The Professor of Truth
  • Idiopathy
  • The Girl Who Just Appeared
  • The Humans
  • Grace Williams Says It Loud
  • The Wrong Boy
  • Ketchup Clouds
Nathan Filer is a writer and lecturer in Creative Writing.

His stand-up poetry has been a regular fixture at festivals and spoken-word events across the UK, and has been broadcast on BBC 3 television and radio 4, 7 and 5 Live. He is also a BBC Best New Filmmaker and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.

He lives in Bristol with his partner and their baby daughter.
More about Nathan Filer...

Share This Book

“Reading is a bit like hallucinating.” 167 likes
“Mental illness turns people inwards. That's what I reckon. It keeps up forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.” 137 likes
More quotes…